Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Critical Mass & Creative Writing

I'm going to actually try and use this blog now. No one reads it, and probably nobody will, but maybe that isn't the point. I'll tell all you non-existant readers what's what. First off, this Friday night, is Critical Mass here in San Diego. This thing is a critical mess, I think, but I'd like it to be better. CM could be a wonderful thing, but right now it is a huge black eye on the cycling community in this city. It's really a great thing in a lot of cities, from what I hear, but around here it is dominated by idiot kids addicted to the mob mentality CM creates. But there is no way to fix that from the outside, right? I have to participate if I'm going to make a difference. Some folks from a new forum I'm part of, http://www.sdbikecommuter.com/, are going to put together some handouts and really try to start making a difference. I plan on helping with that (at least cleaning up the fliers that are dropped all along the way). We'll see how it goes.
The best part of CM is all the sweet parties. It's basically a big rolling party, which is hella fun, but then afterwords there are a few more parties going down. Most notibly is http://www.sdfixed.com/ 's Foot Down at the Ruby Room. Should be a good event, if it's anything like the last one.
I start a creative writing class in a couple of weeks, and am very excited about it. It's web based through a group called Writer Village. They offer this first intro class for free. I'd rather take a real class at the community college or something, but was unable to find anything that would work with my schedule. Oh well, this will be better than nothing and will get me writing.
Well, this has gone on long enough.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2009 Bianchi Volpe

This is my commuting bike, a 2009 Bianchi Volpe in "metallic olive". I've changed pretty much everything about it.
I'm running it 1x9, using a Paul Thumbies mount for a bar end shifter converted into a bar top shifter. It works great, and looks hella better than the Shimano Tiagra that the bike came with. I've got DiaCompe brake levers now-way cooler. The bars are done with white cork tape tied off with household cotton twine and wine cork end plugs, all covered with 5 coats of amber shellac.
I replaced the stock triple crankset with a single speed crank that came stock on my Pista (which I replaced with a beautiful Campy Record Pista crankset).
The saddle is a Brooks Swift in brown, with copper rivets. The pedals are the MKS Sylvan road model with Soma double strap cages and Soma brown leather double straps.
The tires are Specialized Armadillos, 28cc, the most bomb proof tires I've ever ridden.
That's about it. Heavily modified, got just about perfect. I still want to replace the crankset with a compact double so I can put a chainguard on the outside to help keep the chain on. It has a nasty habit of popping off the chainring if the road gets rough and I'm pedaling. I've learned not to pedal over rough stuff, and it's been staying on really well, but I'd like to not have to sweat it. Also, a black crankset would look better, I think.
If you want any tips on the shellacking process or anything else, hit me up!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some New Bike Photos

This is the newest bike in the herd, a 2009 Bianchi Pista. I'll discuss it more later as I get it all fixed up.
These bars are Cinelli natural cork with amber shellac. Note the awful Tiagra shifters and how out of place and dumb they look. They will be gone soon. I'll also be adding cages as soon as they come in.